We’re going through a series of insecurity signals and the easy fixes for them. Let’s carry on.

Crossed arms

This is a universal sign of discomfort and often means you’re struggling to accept what the other person is communicating. Confusingly, though, it can also just mean you’re too cold, which is why one nervous habit is never enough to make a judgment from.

How to correct it: This usually happens when you don’t know what to do with your hands. Try some of the remedies for hand issues below.

Hands between legs or in pockets

When you’re feeling insecure, it’s natural to want to hide your hands because you don’t know what to do with them.

How to correct it: To display confidence, work on talking with hand gestures. The more you use your hands to talk (without becoming wild) the more confident you seem. A safe, neutral place to keep your hands is at your side. If that feels weird, try putting them on your hips or loosely clasping them in front of your waist.

Nail biting / picking

This is a universal sign of stress. If you’re feeling insecure, you might find yourself doing it in the presence of others.

How to correct it: This one is hard because it’s so ingrained. The best thing to do for an immediate fix is resolve to keep your hands away from each other and away from your mouth.

One way to do this that puts you in good posture is to put your hands at your waist and latch a finger on each hand to a belt loop on either side of your body. When you get the urge to bite or pick, you’ll be forced to unlock your fingers which will hopefully be enough of an intervention to remind you not to do it.

Sweaty or quivering hands

In a stress response, it’s normal for your hands to sweat to cool the body. Quivering is also a common sign of nervousness and is easily noticed in the hands.

How to correct it: The best fix for this is before it happens. If you’re headed into a high-stress meeting, spend five minutes doing exercises like slow, steady breathing and power posing that will lower your cortisol levels and prepare you to handle the situation calmly.

Hand wringing

Rubbing your hands together is something people tend do when they’re nervous and not sure what else to do with them, much like putting them between your legs or in your pockets. Of course, this can also just signal that you’re cold like crossing your arms does.

How to correct it: See the solution above for nail biting and picking. The same will work for this.

Jiggling the foot (when seated)

This is a nervous-energy cue that broadcasts you’re not comfortable in your current situation. It can also mean you’re feeling impatient.

How to correct it: When you first sit down, make a point of planting both feet on the floor. As an extra, measure, you can put your hands on your knees until you know you’re calm. If you start to jiggle your feet, you’ll notice it in your arms as well.

We’ll cover more insecurity signs in the next post.

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